The International Consumer Electronics Show draws huge crowds every year as it unveils the latest tech for us to lust after in our collective post-holiday season haze. While we’ve definitely been awed by the possibilities of 3D food printing before, Taiwanese 3D printer manufacturer XYZ Printing is raising our hopes yet again with its new Food Printer.

CNET reports that the company collaborated with a food specialist to design its own proprietary recipe for making anywhere from single- to triple-material 3D-rendered food objects. The 5-inch touch screen allows users to choose from several preset designs for the shapes of foods to be printed. Additional designs can be imported either from online sources, or by using a USB drive to upload your own designs.

XYZ printing 3

Mashable reports that maximum print size will be 7.8″ by 5.9″ by 5.9″ for any food item. The layers can range from .8 to 6.4mm in thickness. Formal pricing for this printer wasn’t announced at the press reveal, but Mashable conservatively estimates that it will be under $2,000, while CNET says it will “likely be in the vicinity of $500.” For what it’s worth, 3D printing news blog 3ders also estimates the MSRP to be $500 for one good reason: that’s what other non-food-printing XYZ Printing 3D printers cost.

This printer is expected to be released to the public in the second half of 2015, and the cost of the food capsules that the printer requires is currently unknown. If you print cookies or other similar items, you’ll also need to bake them in an actual oven before eating them.

XYZ printing 1

Getting technology into a greater number of hands usually means increased creativity and exploration of what’s possible. We can’t wait to see what kinds of snacks users dream up once a $500 3D food printer is available.

[via CNET, Mashable]

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